I don’t often look “back.” I find it’s too easy to focus on what I didn’t accomplish, or shouldn’t have done, and after all, what can we actually DO about things in the past? What I do love is finding great resources that identify just how I’m feeling!
But today, I AM looking back – because we’ve come so far in just the past year at Courage to Caregivers, thanks to your support and encouragement.
Here are some of the highlights:
As one of five semi-finalists in the Health/Wellness category, I was able to pitch the concept for Courage to Caregivers as part of Cleveland Leadership Center’s Accelerate program. While I did not advance to the finals, I received valuable feedback, new contacts and great exposure!
We launched our professional Advisory Council which includes nine behavioral health specialists representing area major hospitals, private and public agencies, and those in private practice.
Our One-to-One Caregiver Support program received funding from Peg’s Foundation, an organization focused on improving the lives of people with serious mental illness by investing in innovative projects in Northeast Ohio. We also received a grant from the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County (ADAMHS Board) to help launch our support group program on the east and west sides.
We secured two sponsors for our east and west side programs during our pilot year – Laurel School in Shaker Heights and a west side school that we can’t name yet because we’re still working to finalize the details.
We visited many sites of other nonprofits and networked with over 100 professionals locally and virtually throughout the U.S. to collaborate for our current and future partnerships. We had booths as a community partner at several area events.
Our Board of Directors expanded to include five outstanding members.
An anonymous donor matched all donations from #GivingTuesday through the end of the year. With just four days left to give in 2018, we have successfully met our annual fund budget and have raised $36,127 (It’s not too late to have your gift for 2018 matched.)
Several pro-bono professionals joined our efforts by providing support in strategic marketing, editorial content, and human resources.
We created a major gifts brochure to assist in fund raising and a referral card for promoting our pilot programs. Our referral cards are expanding our outreach through local behavioral health providers, and our fliers with tear-off strips have been posted on bulletin boards in stores, libraries and restaurants throughout the region.
We hired three independent contractors to write our three pilot programs, incorporating the feedback from our focus groups.
Our first part-time employee – a Program Coordinator – came on board to implement our three pilot programs in our launch phase. (More on this exciting news in an upcoming email!)
We launched our first program – One-to-One Caregiver Support – in November. So far, nine caregivers have signed on seeking support, and we have trained eight caregivers as volunteers to provide support. (It’s not too late to participate! This program has the ability to be virtual and will have rolling registration.)
Our first press release generated valuable exposure for our pilot programs and led to an appearance on local TV, along with several local and Associated Press articles.
We’ve talked with hundreds of mental illness caregivers, connecting them with resources and offering a caring, compassionate and confidential listening ear.
We’re excited about 2019, which we believe will be the year our dream, our vision, becomes reality, thanks to YOU. We know there are many, many people who need our support. Thank you for being with us each step of the way.
All the best in 2019!
Founder and Executive Director